News https://www.usccb.org/ en Annual National Collection Supports Pastoral Efforts of the Church in Africa https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/annual-national-collection-supports-pastoral-efforts-church-africa Annual National Collection Supports Pastoral Efforts of the Church in Africa Brian Salamanca Fri, 08/07/2020 - 08:51

WASHINGTON— Building on their statement, A Call to Solidarity with Africa, in 2004 the members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) authorized the creation of a voluntary diocesan collection in support of the pastoral needs of the Church in Africa. Through the Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Church in Africa provides grants to finance pastoral projects that support the maintenance and growth of the Church in Africa. Funded projects include youth outreach programs, Catholic schools, education of clergy and lay ministers, training of catechists, and peace-building initiatives in regions affected by war.

“In Africa, we continue to witness the most dramatic growth of the universal Catholic Church that features abundant vocations to the priesthood and religious life as well as immense energy and enthusiasm among its youth,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, of Newark and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. “Sadly, in many African countries, the Church lacks the resources to meet basic pastoral needs in areas like the formation of leaders, youth ministry, catechesis, and support for seminaries. As the Church in Africa confronts the growing health and economic needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the pastoral needs supported by the Solidarity Fund become even more urgent.”

Each year, many dioceses in the United States support the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa during July and August with special collections at Sunday Mass and through their online and e-giving platforms. Other dioceses take it at different times throughout the year or make a direct contribution instead of a taking a collection.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB’s Committee on National Collections. In 2019, the subcommittee awarded 101 grants totaling almost $2.4 million to support a broad range of pastoral programs across over 30 countries in Africa. To learn more about the work of the subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.

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Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:51:07 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52066 at https://www.usccb.org
U.S. Bishops’ President and International Justice and Peace Chairman Join in Solidarity with the Suffering of Lebanon After Explosion in the Port of Beirut https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-president-and-international-justice-and-peace-chairman-join-solidarity U.S. Bishops’ President and International Justice and Peace Chairman Join in Solidarity with the Suffering of Lebanon After Explosion in the Port of Beirut Brian Salamanca Thu, 08/06/2020 - 15:24

WASHINGTON—Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement in solidarity with Lebanon after the explosion in the Port of Beirut:

“The world watched with shock and horror the catastrophic explosion in the Port of Beirut Tuesday. Over 135 have died, thousands are injured, and the suffering has only begun to be told.

“Lebanon was already reeling from economic and government corruption along with the novel coronavirus pandemic. The plight of the Lebanese people is now even more dire. We received Lebanon’s patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai’s Appeal to the Nations of the World with fraternal love and solidarity. We encourage Catholics and all people of good will to pray for the afflicted and give generously to Catholic Relief Services’ Lebanon disaster response at www.crs.org. In addition, we call on the U.S. government to accelerate any and all humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in this hour of critical need.

“Joining in Pope Francis’ prayer Wednesday that Lebanon may ‘overcome the grave crisis they are experiencing’ and beseeching the intercession of Our Lady of Lebanon, we place our sure hope in Him who reconciles all things unto himself.”

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Thu, 06 Aug 2020 19:24:12 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52065 at https://www.usccb.org
U.S. Bishops’ President, Cardinals, and Committee Chairman Press Congress for Emergency Aid for Catholic Schools https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-president-cardinals-and-committee-chairman-press-congress-emergency-aid U.S. Bishops’ President, Cardinals, and Committee Chairman Press Congress for Emergency Aid for Catholic Schools Brian Salamanca Thu, 08/06/2020 - 12:03

WASHINGTON— Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap. of Boston, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R. of Newark and Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ of Oakland and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education cosigned a letter requesting that emergency aid to Catholic schools be included in the next federal COVID emergency relief package.

“The economic devastation that has hit so many of America’s families has made it impossible for many struggling families to continue paying tuition,” the bishops wrote. “As a result, already 140 Catholic schools have permanently closed their doors, and hundreds more are in danger of being unable to open in the fall. The closure of schools that serve urban areas are disproportionately harmful to low-income and black children served by these schools.”

They continued, “Not only is this devastating to each of those school communities, their staff and business partners, but it has a detrimental impact on local taxpayers. For every student educated in a Catholic or non-public school, taxpayers save thousands of dollars. Nationwide, Catholic schools save state and local governments more than $20 billion annually.”

The letter asked for the U.S. Congress to designate 10% of emergency K-12 education funding for scholarship aid to low-middle income private school families.

According to the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 1,737,297 across 6,183 schools. 21.8% of students represent racial minorities and 19.1% of the total enrollment in non-Catholic.
 

The full text of the letter to Congress is available here.

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Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:03:35 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52062 at https://www.usccb.org
Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/pope-francis-accepts-resignation-bishop-john-levoir-new-ulm Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm
Bishop John LeVoir greets Pope Francis
Brian Salamanca Thu, 08/06/2020 - 05:51

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John M. LeVoir from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of New Ulm.

The resignation was publicized in Washington, D.C. on August 6, 2020 by Monsignor Walter Erbi, chargé d’affaires at the apostolic nunciature in Washington in the temporary absence of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:51:00 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52060 at https://www.usccb.org
U.S. Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Chairman Shares Solidarity with Pope Francis in Condemning the Attack Against the Cathedral of Managua, Nicaragua https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-international-justice-and-peace-chairman-shares-solidarity-pope-francis U.S. Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Chairman Shares Solidarity with Pope Francis in Condemning the Attack Against the Cathedral of Managua, Nicaragua Brian Salamanca Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:02

WASHINGTON—Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“Alongside Pope Francis and my brother bishops throughout Latin America, I condemn the sacrilegious attack against the Cathedral of Managua that occurred on Friday, July 31. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, archbishop of Managua, called the incendiary-bomb attack an ‘act of terrorism.’ The apparent target of the explosion—an historic crucifix crafted in the 17th century—has become a poignant image of the country’s suffering Church, which has sustained repeated rhetorical and physical attacks (three in the last three weeks) since attempting to mediate peace in 2018. 

“I thank the U.S. government for its prompt statement of support for the Church in Nicaragua in the aftermath of this attack. I urge the Administration to continue its search for peace in Nicaragua.

“The Church in the United States stands with the suffering Nicaraguan faithful, and with all people of goodwill striving for peace and reconciliation in Nicaragua.”

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Wed, 05 Aug 2020 16:02:49 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52059 at https://www.usccb.org
Bishop Chairmen Urge Congressional Black Caucus Leaders to Support Federal Emergency Relief for Urban Catholic School Students https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/bishop-chairmen-urge-congressional-black-caucus-leaders-support-federal-emergency-relief Bishop Chairmen Urge Congressional Black Caucus Leaders to Support Federal Emergency Relief for Urban Catholic School Students John Lilly Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:00

WASHINGTON – Catholic schools, especially those serving urban areas have been disproportionately impacted in the ongoing fallout of the novel coronavirus. Three bishop chairmen of committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have sent a letter to Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, requesting support for black families in Catholic schools as the U.S. Congress debates the next COVID relief package. Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. of Oakland and chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago and chairman of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs addressed the crisis facing Catholic schools, especially those serving urban areas, and asked members of the Congressional Black Caucus to support aid to low-income families in the form of tuition scholarships.  

“As the impact of the coronavirus has disproportionately affected the black community, the same is true for our Catholic schools that serve predominately black communities, and we are imploring your help for these families who have sought a Catholic education for their children,” the bishops wrote. 

They continued, “Catholic schools are facing a crisis at this very moment. Over one hundred-thirty schools have already announced permanent closure, including schools in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New Jersey, and New York. These closures are disproportionately harmful to low-income and black children that are educated in urban schools. A recent survey of Catholic school principals showed that currently 10% are uncertain about their ability to open in the fall; this equals over 500 Catholic schools and thousands of families in turmoil. Strong action from Congress could provide these families and schools the confidence they need to stay in the Catholic school of their choice.”  

The letter asked for Congress to designate emergency funding for direct scholarship aid to low-middle income private school families. 

Total enrollment in Catholic schools nationally for the current academic year is 1,737,297, across approximately 6,183 schools. Racial minorities comprise 21.8% of total enrollment, and 19.1% of all students are non-Catholic. 

The full letter to Congress is available here.

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Fri, 31 Jul 2020 16:00:00 +0000 John Lilly 52056 at https://www.usccb.org
U.S. Bishops’ President Joins Migration Chairman Urging Trump Administration to Reinstate Full DACA Program; Calls for Congressional Action https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-president-joins-migration-chairman-urging-trump-administration-reinstate-full U.S. Bishops’ President Joins Migration Chairman Urging Trump Administration to Reinstate Full DACA Program; Calls for Congressional Action
Bishop Mario Dorsonville Speaking
Brian Salamanca Thu, 07/30/2020 - 15:17

WASHINGTON - On July 28, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum. . . adding limitations to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The memorandum was issued in response to the recent 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States striking down the Trump Administration’s September 2017 attempt to end the DACA program. The new changes outlined in the memorandum would cut DACA’s youth work authorization from two years to one year and would not allow new DACA applicants.

Currently, there are approximately 670,000 DACA recipients working and studying legally in the United States, many of whom are performing essential services and are active leaders such as military veterans, academic standouts in universities, and leaders in local communities. DACA recipients are estimated to contribute $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Administration continues to push forward to end DACA. The Catholic Church in the United States has long advocated for the Dreamers and we will continue to stand with them. Many were brought to this country as infants and young children and they have grown up in our schools and parishes and now are making important contributions in the Church and in almost every area of American life.

“The new limits outlined in the Administration’s memorandum directly and negatively impact immigrant youth, their families, and the communities we serve. We urge the President to reinstate the original protections that DACA provides to young people currently enrolled in the program, as well as to begin accepting new prospective DACA applicants.  

“Again, we turn to Congress, specifically the U.S. Senate, and exhort it to join the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation that provides both certainty and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”

For more information please see the Dreamers and DACA page on the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants website.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2020 19:17:34 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52052 at https://www.usccb.org
U.S. Bishops’ President Reflects on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-president-reflects-75th-anniversary-hiroshima-and-nagasaki U.S. Bishops’ President Reflects on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Pope Francis prays at the Hiroshima memorial
Brian Salamanca Thu, 07/30/2020 - 10:06

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

“This week we are observing the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945.

“My brother bishops and I mourn with the Japanese people for the innocent lives that were taken and the generations that have continued to suffer the public health and environmental consequences of these tragic attacks.

“On this solemn occasion, we join our voice with Pope Francis and call on our national and world leaders to persevere in their efforts to abolish these weapons of mass destruction, which threaten the existence of the human race and our planet.

“We ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace, to pray for the human family, and for each one of us. Remembering the violence and injustice of the past, may we commit ourselves to being peacemakers as Jesus Christ calls us to be. Let us always seek the path of peace and seek alternatives to the use of war as a way to settle differences between nations and peoples.”  

The USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace has produced resources for study, prayer, and action that the faithful may use in observing the August 6 and 9 anniversary, which may be found at: http://www.usccb.org/nuclear.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:06:06 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52039 at https://www.usccb.org
Migration Chairman Calls for Prayers for Trafficking Survivors https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/migration-chairman-calls-prayers-trafficking-survivors Migration Chairman Calls for Prayers for Trafficking Survivors Brian Salamanca Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:20

WASHINGTON – The United Nations designated July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons  in 2013 to raise awareness of the devastating impact human trafficking has on women, men, and children and to promote survivors’ rights and human dignity. The international day is observed annually in the United States and throughout the world. There are nearly 25 million individuals trapped in modern-day slavery, according to the International Labor Organization. Human trafficking a “crime against humanity,” Pope Francis has said because it is “an unjustifiable violation of the victims’ freedom and dignity, which are integral dimensions of the human person willed and created by God.”   

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration issued the following statement: 

“Today we take a moment to pray for all victims and survivors of human trafficking and to reflect upon our responsibilities as individuals and as a Church to make their well-being and protection a priority. We are renewing our call to educating about human trafficking and proclaiming the value of all human life. Pope Francis reminds us. . . that ‘it is the responsibility of all to denounce these injustices and to firmly oppose this shameful crime.’ We are called by our Holy Father to take a firm stance against this terrible violation of the dignity of the human person and to do everything in our power to eradicate it.” 

To commemorate this day and highlight Catholic organizations working to prevent and eliminate all forms of human trafficking, the USCCB will host a webinar at 1pm Eastern on July 30. Registration for the webinar can be found here and resources on raising awareness and fighting trafficking may be found on the Justice for Immigrants website and www.usccb.org/stopslavery
 

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Wed, 29 Jul 2020 17:20:50 +0000 Brian Salamanca 52000 at https://www.usccb.org
Weakened Fair Housing Rule Fails to Promote Dignity of Human Person https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/weakened-fair-housing-rule-fails-promote-dignity-human-person Weakened Fair Housing Rule Fails to Promote Dignity of Human Person Brian Salamanca Tue, 07/28/2020 - 08:13

WASHINGTON –Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would terminate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation (AFFH) issued in 2015 and replace it with a new rule on fair housing titled Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Charities USA filed comments in March 2020 on HUD’s proposed changes to the AFFH rule. The comments urged HUD to withdraw the proposed rule because it weakens the definition of AFFH, fails to address barriers to fair housing, reduces community engagement, and diminishes the role of Public Housing Authorities.

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, and Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president & CEO of Catholic Charities USA, issued a statement in response to HUD’s announcement:
 
“HUD’s replacement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule undermines efforts to promote fair housing and human dignity. Discriminatory practices such as redlining, disinvestment from communities, discriminatory practices in selling or renting homes, and racial and economic segregation have undermined fair housing for generations and continue to harm communities of color today. HUD’s new rule minimizes the affirmative responsibility to promote fair housing by removing clear guidance and effective accountability.

“Fair housing regulations remain one of the key tools for addressing long standing inequities and historical disadvantages and must be strengthened, not weakened. As the U.S. bishops wrote 45 years ago in The Right to a Decent Home, ‘an absence of racial discrimination is no longer enough. We must insist upon effective programs to remedy past injustice.’ Let us renew this call to action to ensure all people have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.”

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Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:13:24 +0000 Brian Salamanca 51978 at https://www.usccb.org